PowerCADD 9 Wish Lists

PowerCADD v8 was released March 2008 and we've already started our PowerCADD v9 wish lists. Who said the life of a software developer was easy Smile

Feel free to cast your vote or contribute a comment (must be logged in to vote or post comments). If you have something you'd like to add drop us a note and we'll get a new page and poll started.

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Spotlight Search Support

feature request -- not sure how easy -- but given the move to X Code this one might be practical and reasonably painless

The ability to have PowerCADD drawing text content indexed by Apple Spotlight search engine.

Right now we have to use the comments field (or an automator action to set comments) to add important date or search criteria. For example, drawing title blocks typically contain important info on the project name, project number, and key dates and descriptions of when a drawing was issued. For example I might need to find all my drawings that were 'issued for construction' or 'issued for tender' on project 'x' ; content which appears in the drawing titleblock as matter of standard drawing practice in virtually every office I've seen drawings from.

A little thing that could be helpful; until then we do have a work around that's pretty easy

No votes yet

Control Click to Remove a GuideLine

Feature Overview

While there are quick ways to remove all guidelines from a drawing or turn them on or off, there's no short cut to removing a single guideline from a drawing.

Feature Description:

Currently, removing a single guideline from a drawing requires dragging it onto the ruler. While this is a very easy task, it does require a lot of mouse movement, particularly on large monitors. It's also somewhat disruptive to the workflow in that it requires we remove our attention from the object at hand to drag things onto the ruler. Given we can currently control+click on an item to bring up a contextual menu to object attributes, why not also have the ability to control+click on a guideline to remove it. Since one of the underlying reasons behind contextual menu's is to make the drawing process more efficient by reducing mouse movement in and out of palettes and menu's, this seems like a logical extension to the process.

We realize it's a little thing - but it just seems like it's the little things that make life easier Smile

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: Control Click to Remove Guideline

Very Important Feature
60% (3 votes)
Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5
No votes yet

Cropping Referenced Drawings

Feature Overview

The ability to crop and un-crop Referenced drawings similar to how we can currently crop and un-crop Placed items.

Feature Description:

Even though Referenced drawings span multiple layers, they are in essence treated as a single entity in that they can be selected and rotated, scaled, bound, etc, all from the References menu. If we can see the References bounding box, it would be helpful to treat that bounding box the same as we do with Placed items; cropping and un-cropping the referenced content; all layers associated with the referenced item would be affected.

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: Cropping of Referenced Drawings

Very Important Feature
100% (4 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Drawing Preview when Editing Groups

Feature Overview

An application level preference to enable/disable seeing a preview of the drawing when in Edit Groups mode (Edit menu -> Edit Groups).

Feature Description:

Currently when editing a group, all other drawing data is hidden and only the group is displayed. However, when editing groups, it's often important to see other drawing data for reference. The preview, if enabled, could be a reduced opacity version (i.e. dimmed) of the layers that were visible when the Edit Groups command was chosen from the Edit menu.

Example: If the user needs to rotate one element in a group relative to some other general drawing reference point, it's important to see that contextual data from the main drawing.

Current model requires users to either:

  1. Guess where the other drawing data is when editing the group. This can result in having to edit the group multiple times to get things right
    • or
  2. Copy data from the general drawing, then choose Edit Menu > Edit Groups, then Paste the general drawing data for reference. After completing the Edit Group operation the pasted reference objects need to be deleted

The problems are fairly apparent with both models. Option (1) in particular may get even more cumbersome if Edit All Layers is OFF and the object needing to be copied is on a different layer, or if the object needing to be copied is part of different group or symbol.

The ability to enable/disable preview when editing groups would speed up the drawing editing / production cycle. An application level preference seems reasonable since it's presumed most users would want this feature 'on or off' ( much like Hide Reshape Fills is a logical Preference choice for general application behavior across all drawings).

We think the new feature in PowerCADD 7, which displays static text Editing Group in the Layers Window during an Edit Group operation is a significant first step and we think being able to choose to see (or not see) a drawing preview that is faded (reduced opacity) would be a welcome feature and logical next step.

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: Edit Groups Drawing Preview

Very Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
20% (1 vote)
Total votes: 5
No votes yet

Improved Previews for Bitmap Effects

Feature Overview

The preview presented when using the Apply Bitmap Effects... menu item is too small (note, it's acknowledged this is an Apple limitation since the menu item calls Apple's QuickTime). An improved preview where the entire drawing window acts as the preview would provide better visual feedback.

Feature Description:

Any QuickTime or similar effect should be previewed in the main drawing window. The dialog box for the QuickTime effect should also be moveable. The current model makes it difficult to get predictable results.

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: Improved Bitmap Effects Previews

Very Important Feature
33% (1 vote)
Important Feature
67% (2 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

Optional Tool Settings Append as Sheet

Feature Overview

When pressing Option and clicking on a tool with two dots, the Optional Tool Settings dialog should append as a sheet to the associated tool palette.

Feature Description:

Currently, tools with optional settings (two dots in their icon), pressing Option and clicking on a tool opens a new floating window. In the case of PowerCADD Tools, those windows float and can be moved around. In the case of WildTOOLs, those windows don't float (a long standing HIGs? violation and pet peeve) and are stuck to the center of the screen area.

The proposed feature for tools with optional settings; their settings should open as sheet appended to the tool palette instead of a floating dialog.

Why

The user already knows where the tool palette is; it's my work flow anchor for production. I've had to move my mouse around just to press option and click on the tool to open the dialog. I then have to go through more mousing around to get to the dialog to either move the dialog (in the case of PowerCADD tools) and enter the data.

It would more convenient if the optional settings just appended to the Tools Palette as a sheet. It would behave in principle just like the see-through / auto-fade settings work now for floating windows or the primary tool palette. In case you missed it, here is how you can adjust the auto-fade settings in PowerCADD 7: Control+Click on any tool palette and choose Palette Settings... from the contextual menu to see this sheet append to the selected tool palette:

Having all the user interface elements grouped together around the tool palette would be more efficient for production and provide a smoother user interface. While it's possible to assign a key command to a tool which includes the Option key to force the dialog, having it all associated with the tool palette as a sheet just seems like a nice logical extension of the Mac OS? X interface.

Special Note: If the optional settings were appended to the tool palettes, it would also mean that WildTOOLs would follow the same standard (or at least one would hope so), thereby unsticking their optional tool settings from the center of the screen and making for a more fluid and consistent work flow.

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Vote Here: PCadd8 Optional Tool Settings Sheet

Very Important Feature
75% (3 votes)
Important Feature
25% (1 vote)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Wish List: PowerCADD 9 ACAD Translator

Some of the items here are carry overs from our PowerCADD v8 translator wish list. Some items are new.

Feel free to cast a vote or post a comment (must be registered and logged in).

If an item was carried over from PowerCADD v8 we've left the poll question and topic the same so we didn't loose any votes!

No votes yet

Batch Processing

Feature Overview

Reintroduce the ability to Batch process reading (opening) DWG? or DXF? files and writing (saving) PowerCADD to DWG or DXF.

Feature Description:

The old PowerDRAW translator, a stand alone application, had the ability to batch process files. We'd like to see that feature integrated into the PowerDWG Translator External. Key elements would include:

  1. The ability to open (read) multiple DWG or DXF files by pointing the translator to a folder full of files
  2. The ability to save (write) multiple PowerCADD files to DWG or DXF by pointing the translator to a folder full of files
  3. The ability to save presets of translator settings that could be applied to reading or writing DXF or DWG files
  4. The presets noted in (3) would include the ability to link to the Line Weight to Color or Color to Line Weight settings and other existing optional translation settings

Optionally, we'd also like to see the translator let us save the preset settings a droplet. Dropping a folder full of files onto the droplet would tell PowerCADD to automatically process the files (either read or write) with the saved settings.

Cast your vote using the link below

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: PowerDWG v8 Batch Processing

Very Important Feature
67% (2 votes)
Important Feature
33% (1 vote)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

Clip Filled Objects when Writing DWG

Feature Overview

The ability for PowerDWG to automatically clip objects when writing (saving) a PowerCADD drawing as a DWG file.

Feature Description:

In PowerCADD, and on the Mac in general, we can create objects that are filled white; for example a rectangle that is filled white. If that filled rectangle is on top of another object, for example a line, the white fill hides the line (or portion of a line) below it as shown here:

That technique, which could loosely be referred to as masking, is a common one used in PowerCADD drawings and on the Mac OS?. When a PowerCADD drawing using that technique is saved as a DWG file, the fill pattern is ignored (not a surprise) and in AutoCAD the user sees through the rectangle to the line below. As shown here, that is clearly not the same condition as we drew in PowerCADD (illustrated above).

[inline:PCD8_Wish_DWGClip_02.jpg]

So, what do we mean by clipping when writing a DWG file?
In the old days, PowerCADD has a Plot Driver built in -- that plot driver would cut or clip overlapping objects when creating the HPGL? files necessary for output. In the example we're describing above, the results would be that the section of the line, hidden by the white fill, would be clipped where it intersects the sides of the rectangle. In effect, producing new line segments where they intersected. As shown here, if the PowerCADD PowerDWG Translator supported clipping, like it's old Plot Driver did, we'd see a result in AutoCAD that looked like this:

The result in AutoCAD would look like they did in the original PowerCADD drawing
[inline:PCD8_Wish_DWGClip_03.jpg]

A short trip in the way back machine, back to the roots of Engineered Software and their experience with writing Plot Drivers, would yield a valulable addition to the PowerDWG Translator that would bring us one step closer to WYSIWYG? translation between the Mac (PowerCADD) and Windows (AutoCAD) worlds.

Of course, we'd like the clip filled objects feature to be a radio button optional setting so we can choose to turn it on or off. Yes -- we'd like it all, thank you very much Cool

Work Around

Currently, the only work around is to manually trim the types of intersections illustrated earlier. Clearly, in a complex drawing, that can be an extensive (and expensive!) task, particularly where smart objects such as doors or windows are used to mask wall lines to create openings. The only other choice is to start the PowerCADD drawing, from the start, with the plan that is going to be exported via DWG to AutoCAD and draw down to that standard. While this is a reasonable approach, it negates many of the advantages we have by drawing on a Mac and with PowerCADD.

Cast your vote using the link below

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: PCADD 8 PowerDWG Clip Filled Objects

Very Important Feature
83% (5 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
17% (1 vote)
Total votes: 6
No votes yet

Map Fill to Hatch Patterns

Feature Overview

The ability for the PowerDWG Translator to automatically map PowerCADD fill patterns in a drawing to hatch patterns when saving (writing) out a DWG file.

Feature Description:

Those of us who have been around the block and using PowerCADD (and PowerDRAW) might remember a feature in the PowerDRAW Translator application. This was a separate application used to translate PowerDRAW files to DXF? in those days but it had a great feature: the ability let the user map their Mac OS? X fill patterns to any hatch pattern they liked.

The feature was actually part of the plot driver technology and it worked great, except for one flaw: it wouldn't look inside of groups.

We'd like to see that feature brought back and improved upon. Let the user map their PowerCADD fill pattern to a hatch pattern when writing a DXF or DWG File?. The objects fill pattern, whether in a group or symbol or an independent entity in the drawing, would be converted when saving the DWG file so it opens in AutoCAD with a hatch pattern instead.

There is some discussion here about the AutoCAD Wipeout feature that could also apply in this case. But our thought in bring this old feature back to the future is the technology is already there and maybe that will make for an easier start point and lay the foundation to build upon. Were also going to more digging into that AutoCAD feature since there may be silver lining in there too!

Cast your vote using the link below

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: Map Fills to Hatches

Very Important Feature
50% (2 votes)
Important Feature
50% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Save Setups for Translation Settings

Feature Overview

The ability to save the settings used to translate a drawing as a preset setup that could be recalled again later and applied to different files.

Feature Description:

When a file is opened for translation, the user has to make a variety of choices for the translation settings such as scale, sheet size, limits, extents, whether to use a specific pen color to line weight lookup table, delete off page objects, etc.. There are in fact several settings which must be set.

Currently the translator remembers the last used settings, which is helpful but limiting. Ideally it would be great if all the settings and optional settings assigned in the Incoming Settings Window could be saved as setup. In principle this is similar to how Gradient settings, Sheet Setups, or how Color To Line Weight and Line Weight to Color translation settings are saved and may be applied quickly by selecting them from a menu.

Given most AutoCAD shops are consistent in how they setup files, or at a minimum are consistent with how files in a given project are setup, the proposed new feature would make it considerably more efficient when multiple translations are required on a project (which is typicall the case). The time savings also become even more significant when we realize there are typically multiple consultants on a given project, each with their own AutoCAD to PowerCADD translation setting requirements. In addition, those user who work with multiple consultants on multiple projects would see an even greater benefit for the proposed feature.

Cast your vote using the link below
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: PCadd 8 DWG support for Translation Setups

Very Important Feature
100% (4 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Write Global Origin with DWG

Feature Overview

The ability to specify the Global Origin for a DWG? file written from PowerCADD is critical to cross platform consultant coordination. The differing coordinate spaces requires additional effort on the part of WinTel/Acad users receiving the PCadd DWG file which is often unacceptable in terms of a 'delivered product'.

Feature Description:

Writing DWG with a user specified global origin would simply speed up cross platform coordination with AutoCAD and other 1:1 Coordinate system applications on both Mac's and PC's (for example, FormZ, a Mac and Windows 3D modeling application using a 1:1 coordinate system, or AutoCAD which is also a 3D and 2D application using a 1:1 coordinate system)

This would seem a logical extension of the current Global Origin feature allowing me to work with large coordinate values with in PowerCADD.

Work Around

Currently, the only work around is to have a copy of AutoCAD on hand (running on a dedicated Windows computer or on an Apple computer running Windows in some type of emulation environment), open the translated PowerCADD file and move it manually to the required coordinate location. If Global Origins were written with the DWG file when saved from PowerCADD, the anchor point and appropriate XY insertion point could be included in the file, thereby saving this step and simplifying the cross platform translation process.

Cast your vote using the link below
Don't see the voting link? Log in to vote.

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Vote Here: PowerDWG8 Write Global Origin

Very Important Feature
100% (2 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2
No votes yet

XML Database Support

Feature Overview:
Write the user defined database attributes assigned in PowerCADD as an external XML? resource file for the current suite of database file options.

Feature Description:

XML is at the core of numerous aspects of Mac OS? X and various internet technologies. In it's simplest definition, an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file is a cross platform, smart , text file which formats data which can be more readily used by other applications. XML support would make the entire database process more seamless and set the stage for future interopability of the user defined PowerCADD database attributes. Two common examples of similar implementations include:

  • Apple iLife'04: XML allows the database for items such as playlists defined in iTunes to be read in iPhoto. Chapter marks in iMovie can be used/read by iDvd, etc.
  • Apple's Addressbook application publishes it's contents in XML allowing the data to be read and repurposed by various third party authors. There are several examples of third party applications which take advantage of the XML format of Addressbook including iWork and YouControl. There are other third party applications which read the Addressbook XML formated data for printing address labels and envelopes.

PowerCADD currently provides several methods for users to assign database attributes to objects (see our two related links here and here for additional information on the currently available methods).

In the current scheme, the database attributes are assigned to objects within PowerCADD and are saved with the core PowerCADD drawing. in order to extract the database attributes, users must perform a Save As... and select the appropriate report option which results in a text file saved to disk. The text file can then be manually integrated into various third party applications for additional value added analysis. However, changes made to the drawing require saving a new report and reimporting that file. The cycle can become cumbersome and tends to slow down the work flow.

Maintaining a proprietary drawing object database is important for the core PowerCADD drawing objects and that should not change with support for XML. However, opening up the user defined database attributes as defined using Object text, Symbol Tags, Set Data, Export Data would make the data more usable without compromising the proprietary drawing file database/format.

The basic methodology for this feature request is:

  1. A unique XML file is written to disk when a user assigns a database tag using any of the existing methods.
  2. The XML file is live linked to the drawing database: that is, if the user makes a change to the drawing (for example deleting a symbol), the appropriate XML file is updated when the PowerCADD drawing file is saved.
  3. The user could then link to the XML file saved to disk in their database application of choice which would reflect the last saved state of the XML File?

Support for XML should not compromise the internal, proprietary, PowerCADD drawing database. However, making the user defined database tags from Symbol Tags, Object Text, Export Data and Set Data accessible via XML would help stream line the work flow. Using an open, cross platform standard, also helps set the stage for future database development.

Click Here to Cast your Vote on this PowerCADD 8 Wish List Item
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Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

No votes yet

Vote Here: PCadd8 XML Dbase Support

Very Important Feature
100% (3 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

arc by chord niggly issue

this is an old and ongoing niggly thing

when I'm drawing Arc by Chord, I can't press TAB to activate the Edit Window and specify the chord length.

Why not? I can use Tab for direct entry of the length and angle but not the chord length which arguably the most important part.

I think it compromises the effectiveness of the tool.

No votes yet